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Armed Forces Bowl to feature Army vs. Missouri while First Responders Bowl offers Air Force and Louisville

🕐 4 min read

Army (8-3, Independent) vs. Missouri (6-6, SEC), Dec. 22, 8 p.m. ET

LOCATION: Fort Worth

TOP PLAYERS

Army: LB Andre Carter II, 14.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, leads the nation in sacks per game; QB Christian Anderson, 545 yards and five touchdowns passing; 519 yards and six touchdowns rushing.

Missouri: RB Tyler Badie, 1,604 yards and 14 touchdowns rushing; 330 yards and four touchdowns receiving.

NOTABLE

Army: The Black Knights still have a game to play — they play Navy on Saturday. Army ranks second nationally with 301.2 yards rushing per game.

Missouri: Coach Eliah Drinkwitz is unbeaten (8-0) as an assistant coach and head coach in bowl games.

The Army West Point Black Knights (8-3) and Missouri Tigers (6-6, 3-5 SEC) have officially accepted invitations to play in the 2021 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. It will mark the fourth time that the Black Knights have played in the game, and the first appearance by the Tigers.

The 19th edition of the bowl will be played Wednesday, Dec. 22 at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT on ESPN. Tickets are available on ArmedForcesBowl.com.

“We are thrilled to welcome Army West Point and Missouri to Fort Worth this year,” Executive Director Brant Ringler said. “Both are tradition-rich programs with passionate followings, and we are looking forward to hosting the Black Knights and the Tigers as we celebrate our armed forces.”

Army West Point heads into Saturday’s annual Army-Navy game riding a four-game winning streak that began with a 21-14 overtime victory over rival Air Force at the Lockheed Martin Commanders’ Classic. The Black Knights rank second in the NCAA in rushing offense at 301.2 yards per game and have score a nation’s best 43 rushing touchdowns.

Army West Point is the only program ever to win the Armed Forces Bowl three times (2010, 2017 and 2018). In 2018, it matched all-time, all-bowl records for points scored (70) and margin of victory (56) in a victory over Houston. All-time, Army is 6-3 in bowl games and is making its fifth postseason appearance in the last six years.

Missouri also features a strong ground attack, as running back Tyler Badie set a school single-season record with 1,604 rushing yards en route to becoming a finalist for the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back. The Tigers averaged nearly 30 points per game against a schedule that included eight bowl-eligible opponents. 

This will be the program’s 34th bowl appearance, and first since 2018. The Tigers are 15-18 all time in the postseason. It is the 10th time that Mizzou will play a bowl game in the state of Texas. Missouri gives the Armed Forces Bowl a team for the Southeastern Conference for the second consecutive season.

The annual bowl game began in 2003 and has featured the “armed forces” theme since 2006. It was the first collegiate football bowl game to host all three U.S. Military Academy football teams – Air Force (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015), Army West Point (2010, 2017, 2018) and Navy (2013, 2016). This is the 11th time in the past 15 years that the game has featured an academy team.

Since 2014, the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is the highest scoring bowl game in the nation with a total of 511 points scored. The next highest scoring games are the Rose Bowl (494) and Orange Bowl (403). Twelve of the 14 teams to play in the Armed Forces Bowl over the last seven years have amassed at least 25 points.

The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is one of 17 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events.

For additional information about the bowl, ArmedForcesBowl.com

LAST TIME

Missouri 23, Army 10. (Sept. 11, 1982).

BOWL HISTORY

Army: Fourth Armed Forces Bowl berth, 3-0 record. Tenth bowl bid overall, with a 6-3 record.

Missouri: First Armed Forces Bowl berth, 34th bowl game overall.

Meanwhile, in Dallas, Air Force (9-3, Mountain West) will meet  Louisville (6-6. ACC), Dec. 28, 3:15 p.m. ET in the First Responder Bowl.

TOP PLAYERS

Air Force: Brad Roberts, 1,279 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing. QB Haaziq Daniels, 932 yards passing and five touchdowns passing; 705 yards and nine touchdowns rushing. LB Vince Sanford, 17 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks.

Louisville: QB Malik Cunningham, 2,734 yards and 18 TDs passing; 968 yards and 19 touchdowns rushing. LB Yasir Abdullah, 14.5 tackles for loss, nine sacks.

NOTABLE

Air Force: The Falcons lead the nation in rushing with 341.6 yards per game. They have outrushed all 12 opponents this season and have gone over 400 yards five times. Air Force ran for 511 yards in the regular-season finale against UNLV and didn’t throw a pass.

Louisville: Cunningham passed for 303 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 224 yards and two scores against Duke.

LAST TIME

First meeting.

BOWL HISTORY

Air Force: First appearance in the First Responder Bowl and 28th bowl game overall.

Louisville: First appearance in the First Responder Bowl and 24th bowl game overall.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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